Michigan may withdraw bridge funding (July 01, 2007)

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DETROIT, Mich. – A Michigan Senator recently announced the state may pull out of funding a new bridge crossing linking Ontario and Michigan.

Alan Cropsey, majority leader in the Michigan Senate, said an amendment calling on the state to withdraw funding support for the new crossing could be passed within 60 days.

He said legislators in Michigan feel their money would be better spent elsewhere since the owner of the Ambassador Bridge has already expressed interest in constructing a second crossing, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

“There is a huge concern that many of us have in the legislature about whether the state of Michigan should be funding another crossing,” Cropsey said in an interview with the Toronto Star.

Michigan’s portion of the cost of a new crossing would be US$1.5-3.5 billion.

“It puts the new bridge for completion by 2013 in jeopardy,” Gerald Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, responded. “This would be a very serious setback.”

Cropsey told the Toronto Star the amendment may also gain Democratic support if the Senate gets behind it. Critics of a plan by Ambassador Bridge owners to construct a second crossing say they will be too close together and both would suffer damage in the event of a terrorist attack on either bridge.

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